Sports Concussion Program
The State of Texas has wisely joined in the national movement to appropriately address the long-term effects of concussions. The UIL Medical Advisory Committee recommended and the UIL Legislative Council approved to adopt the concussion management recommendations of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). In brief, the UIL and TEA made changes that will now mandates that any student who displays signs or symptoms of a concussion must be removed from activity for the remainder of the day and receive medical evaluation prior to returning to activities.
Good Shepherd is leading the way in concussion management across East Texas. As the only provider of the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) Concussion Management System in the area, Good Shepherd has provided area school districts the opportunity to be on the cutting-edge of care for student athletes.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is an injury caused by a sudden blow to the head. Though the brain is normally surrounded by a fluid cushion, in the case of a sudden impact the brain can crash into the skull. This may cause a temporary loss of normal function, including loss of consciousness, confusion, dizziness, loss of memory, seeing stars, blurred vision or other symptoms. An athlete with any concussion symptoms should not return to play without further evaluation.
What is ImPACT?
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the most widely-used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT is a 20-minute test that has become a standard tool used in comprehensive clinical management of concussions for athletes of all ages.
Athletes are given a pre-test each year to establish a neuropsychological baseline. Follow-up testing is then performed after a concussion, and trained physicians can then evaluate the athlete using this objective data.
The program tests, among other things, a person’s memory. The results can then be compared to the baseline to show if an athlete is ready to return to competition – or even how much an injured student should try to take on academically.
Why is Concussion Testing Important?
Estimates for the number of sports- and recreation-related concussions in the United States each year are as high as 3.8 million. Several states are considering legislation that would place restrictions on young athletes returning to play after head injuries.
This type of legislation will eventually pass across the country. In East Texas, we want to lead the way and set the standard for safe care of concussions.
The Good Shepherd Program
The concussion management program has several components.
Area athletes, coaches, trainers and school administrators, as well as local physicians will receive education about the symptoms of concussion and the safest practices for concussion management.
For optimal results, athletes must take a baseline test. This test can be administered in the computer lab at the school and takes approximately 20 minutes. Discounted pricing is available for groups.
Concussion Follow Up
An athlete who suffers a concussion takes a follow up test, administered by the team trainer. The athlete is then referred to a physician trained in interpreting the ImPACT test results and a follow up visit is scheduled, if necessary.
The physician will make a recommendation for the athlete to return to play or remain off play, and will also make recommendations for modifications to school attendance or school work. Studies show that concussions can impact performance on school testing, and full evaluation is the best way to keep athletes on track academically.
Participation in this program will protect the young athletes in East Texas from the long term consequences of head injuries. Most concussions are mild and treatable, but repeated injuries from returning to play too soon can cause permanent damage. On the other hand, cookbook formulas can cause athletes to sit out unnecessarily. This program allows doctors to determine the appropriate amount of time for brain recovery.
Credentialed ImPACT Consultant (CIC) Physicians:
Yogesh Pai, MD
105 Zeid Blvd
Henderson, TX 75652
Charles R. Williams, MD
703 E Marshall Ave, Suite 502
Longview, TX 75601